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timate hostility on the ocean were the Britain. Although they knew that these public property of a State, or as if the Orders would be revoked, if the Decrees Edicts and the Cộurts of France itself had of France, which had occasioned them, not at all times enforced this right with were repealed, they resolved at the same peculiar rigour; secondly, that the Bri- moment to resist the conduct of both Beltish orders of blockade, instead of being ligerents, instead of requiring France in confined to fortified towns, had, as France the first instance to rescind her decrees. asserted, heen unlawfully extended to Applying most unjustly the same mcacommercial towns and ports, and to the sure of resentmeut to the aggressor aud months of rivers; and thirdly, that they to the party aggrieved, they adopted had been applied to places, and to coasts, measures of commercial resistance against which neither were, nor could be actually bothma system of resistance, whick, blockaded.' The last of these charges is however varied in the successive Acts of not founded on fact; whilet the others, Embargo, Non-Intercourse, or Non-Imeven by the admission of the American portation, was evidently ninequal in its Government, are utterly groundless in operation, and principally levelled against point of law.--Against these Decrees, his the superior commerce and maritime Majesty protested and appealed; he power of Great Britaill. The same par. called upon the United States to assert tiality towards France was observable in their own rights, and to vindicate their their negociations, as in their measures independence, thus menaced and at- of alleged resistance.--Application was tacked; and as Prance had declared, made to both Belligerents for a revocathat she would confiscate every vessel tion of their respective edicts; but the which should touch in Great Britain, or terms in which they were made, were þe visited by British ships of war, his widely different.--Of France was required Majesty, having previously issued the a revocatiou only of the Berlin and Milan Order of January, 1807, as an act of Decrees, allhough many other edicts, mitigated retaliation, was at length com- grossly violating the veutral commerce of pelled, by the persevering violence of the the United States, had been promolgated Enems, and the continued acquiescence by that Power. No security was deof Neutral Powers, to revisit, upon France, manded, that the Berlin and Milan De. in a more effectual manner, the measure crees, even if revoked, should not under of her own injustice ; by declariog, in an some other form be re-established : and Order in Council, bearing date the 11th a direct engagement was offered, that of November, 1807, that no peutral ves- upon such revocation, the American Gosel should proceed to France, or to any vernment would take part in the war of the countries from which, in obedience against Great Britain, if Great Britain to the dictates of France, British com- did not immediately rescind her Orders : anerce was excluded, without first touch- whereas no corresponding engagement ing at a port in Great Britain, or her de- was offered to Great Britain, of whom it pendencies. At the same time bis Ma- was required, not only that the Orders in jesty intimated bis readiness to repeal Council should be repealed, but that no the Orders in Council, whenever France others of a similar nature should be issued, should rescind her Decrees, and return and that the blockade of May, 1506, to the accustomed p:inciples of maritime should be also abandoned. This block. warfare ; and at a subsequent period, as ade, established and enforced according a proof of his Majesty's sincere desire to to accustomed practice, bad not been obe accommodate, as far as possible, his de. jected to by the United States at the lime fensive measures to the convenience of it was issued. Its provisions were, on the Neutral Powers, the operation of the Or- contrary, represented by the American ders in Council was, by an order issued Minister resideni in London at the time, 10 April, 1909, limited to a blockade of to have been so framed, as to aff'rd, in France, and of the countries subjected to his judgment, a proof of the friendly disher immediate dominion.-Systems of position of the British Cabinet towards violence, oppression, and tyranny, can the United States. Great Britain was never be suppressed, or even checked, if thus called upon to abandon one of her the Power against which such injustice is most important maritime rights, by ac. exercised, be debarred from the right of knowledging the order of blockade in full and adequate retaliation; or, if the question, to be one of the edicts which measures (if the retaliating Power are to violated the commerce of lae United be considered as matters of just offence States, although it had never been so to neutral nations, whilst the measures considered in the previous negociations; of original aggression and violence are to and although the President of the United tolerated with indifference, submission, or States had recently consented to abrogate complacency.--'The Government of the the Non-Intercourse Act, on the sole conUniteit States did not fail to remonstrate dition of the Orders in Council being re. against the Orders in Council of Great voked ; thereby distinctly admitting these
was to cease.
orders to be the only edicts which fell when the operation of the French Decrees within the contemplation of the law under
This instrument expressly which he acted --A proposition so hos
declared that these French Decrees were tily to Great Britain could not but be repealed in consequence of the American proportionally encouraging to the preten- Legislature having, by their Act of the sions of the Enemy; as by thus alleging 1st of March, 1811, provided, that British that the blockade of May, 1806, was ships and merchandise should be excluded illegal, the American Government vir- from the ports and harbours of the United tually justified, so far as depended on States.--By this instrument, the only dothem, the French Decrees. After this cument produced by America as a repeal pro;osition had been made, the French of the French Decrees, it appears beyond Minister for Foreign Affairs, if not in a possibility of doubt or cavil, that the concert with that Government, at least in alleged repeal of the Firench Decrees was conformity with its views, in a dispatch, conditional, as Great Britain had assert. dated the 5th of August, 1810, and ad- ed; and not absolute or final, as had been dressed to the American Minister resident maintained by Ainerica : that they were at Paris, stated that the Berlin and Milan not repealed at the time they were stated Decrees were revoked, and that their ope- to be repealed by the American Governration would cease from the 1st day of ment: that they were vot repealed in conNovember following, provided his Na-' formity with a proposition, simultaneous.' jesty would revoke his Orders in Council, ly made to both Belligerents, but that in and renounce the new principles of block- consequence of a previous Act on the part ade; or that the United States would of the American Gorernment, they were canse their rights to be respected; mean- repealed in favour of one Belligerent, to ing thereby, that they would resist the lhe prejudice of the other : that the Aineretaliatory measures of Great Britain.- rican Goveinment having adopted mea. Although the repeal of the French De- sures restrictive upon the commerce of crees thus aneounced was evidently, coc- both Belligerents, in consequence of tiugent, either on concessions to be inade Edicts issued by both, rescinded these by Great Britain (concessions to which it measures, as they affected that Power was obvions Great Britain could not sub- which was the aggressor, whilst tbey put mit), or on neasures to be adopted by them in full operation against the party, the United States of America, the Ameri- aggrieved, although the Edicts of both can President at once considered the re- Powers continued in force; and lastly, peal as absolute. Under that pretence that they excluded the ships of war bia the Non. Importation Act was sļrictly en- longing to one Belligerent, whilst they forced against Great Britain, whilst the adinitied into their ports and harbours the ships of war aud merchant ships of the ships of war belonging to the other, in Enemy were received into the harbours of violation of one of the plainest and most America. -The American Government, as
essential duties of a Neutral Nation.suming the repeal of the French Decrees Although the instrument this produced to be absolute and effectual, mast unjustly was by no means that general and uns required Great Britain, in conformity to qualified revocation of the Berlin and Mia her declarations, to revoke her Orders in Jan Decrees which Great Britain had conCouncil. The British Government denied timually demavded, and had a full right that the repeal, which was announced in to claiin; and although this instrument, the letter of the French Minister for For under all the circumstances of iis appearreigo Affairs, was such as ought to satisfy ance at that moment, for the first time, Great Britain ; and in order to ascertain wa: open to the strougest suspicions of it's the true character of the measure adopted auuenticity; yet as the Minister of the by France, the Government of the United United, States produced it, as purporting States was called upon to produce the to be a copy of the Instrument of rezocaInstrument, by which the alleged repeal tion, the Government of Great Britain, of the French Decrees bad been effected. desirous of reverting, if possible, to the If these Decrees were really revokeil, such ancient and accustomed principles of an instrument must exist, and no satis- Maritime War, determined upon revoking factory reason could be given for with condi:ionally the Orders in Councl. Aca hold.ng it.-A! length, on the 21st May, cordingly in the month of June last, his 1812, and not before, the Ainerican Mi. Royal Highness the Prince Regent was nister in London did produce a copy, or pleased to declare in Council, in the at least what purported to be a copy, of name and on the behalf of bis Majesty, such an instruinent.--It professed to bear
that the Orilers in Council should be redate the 28th of April, 1811, long subse- voked, as far as respected the ships anti quent to the dispatch of the French Mi. property of the United Siates, from the nister of Foreign Affairs of the 5th of Ist of August following. This revocaAugint, 1810, or even the day named tion was to continue. in force, provided werem, viz. the 1st November following the Government of the United States
should, within a time to be limited, re- port of the French Minister for Foreign peal their Restrictive Laws against Bric Affairs, of the 12th of March, 1812, protish commerce. His Majesty's Minister mulgating anew the Berlin and Milan n America was expressly ordered to de. Decrees, as fundamental laws of the clare to the Government of the United French Empire, under the false and exStates, "that this measure had been travagani pretext, that the monstrous adopted by the Prince Regent, in the
principles therein contajned were to be earnest wish and hope, either that the found in the Treaty of Utrecht, and were Government of France, by further relaxa- therefore binding upon all States. From tions of its system, might render perse- the penalties of this code no nation was verance on the part of Great Britain in to be exempt, which did not accept it, retaliatory measures unnecessary, or if not only as the rule of its own conduct, this hope should prove delusive, that his but as a law, the observance of which it Majesty's Government might be enabled, was also required to enforce upon Great in the absence of all irritating and re- Britain.--In a Manifesio, accompanying strictive regulations on either side, to en- their Declaration of Hostilities, in auditer · with the Government of the United tion to the former complaints against the Slates into arnicable explanations, for the Orders in Council, a long list of grievpúrpose of ascertaining whether, if the
ances was brought forward; some trivial necessity of retaliatory measures should in themselves, others which had been unfortunately continue to operate, the mutually adjusted, but none of them particular measures to be acted upon by such as were ever before alleged by the Great Britain could be rendered more American Government to be grounds for acceptable to the American Government, war. As if to throw additional obstacles than those hitherto pursued." In order in the way of peace, the American Conto provide for the contingency of a De- gress at the same time passed a law, proclaration of War on the part of the United hibiting all intercourse with Great Bri. States, previous to the arrival in America tain, of such a cenour, as deprived the of the said Order of Revocation, Instruc- Executive Government, according to the tions, were sent to his Majesty's Minister President's own construction of that Act, Plenipotentiary accredited to the United of all power of restoring the relations of Stales (the execution of which instruc- friendly intercourse between the tions, in consequence of the discon- States, so far, at least, as concerned their tinuance of Mr. Foster's functions, were commercial intercourse, until Congress at a subsequent period entrusted to Ad- should re-assemble...The President of miral Sir John Borlase Warren), direct, the United States has, it is true, since ing him to propose a cessation of hostili- proposed to Great Britain an Armistice ; ties, should they have commenced; and not, however, on the admission, that the further to offer a simultaneous repeal of cause of war hitherto relied on was re. the Orders in Couucil on the one side, moved ; but on condition, that Great Bri. and of the Restrictive Laws on British tain, as a preliminary step, should do away ships and commerce on the other. They a cause of war, now brought forward as were also respectively empowered to ac- such for the first time ; namely, that she quaint the American Government, in re- should abandon the exercise of her una ply to any inquiries with respect to the doubled right of search, to take from blockade of May, 1806, whilst the British American merchant vessels British sea. Government must continue to maintain men, the natural-born subjects of his its legality, “that in point of fact this Majesty; and this concession was particular blockade had been discon- quired upon a mere assurance that laws tinued for a leogih of time, having Been would be enacted by the Legislature of Dierged in the general retaliatory block- the Unised States, to prevent such seaade of the Enemy's ports under the Or- men from entering into their service : but ders in Council, and that his Majesty's independent of the objection to an excluGoverument had no intention of recurring sive reliance on a foreign State, for the to this, or to any other of the blockades conservation of so vital an interest, no of the Enemy's ports, founded upon the explanation was, or could be afforded by ordinary and accustomed principles of the agent who was charged with this overMaritime Law, which were in force pre- ture, either as to the main principles vious to the Orders in Council, without a upon which such laws were to be fouuded, new notice to Neutral Powers in the usual or as to the provisions which it was proform."The American Government, be- posed they should contain.--This propofore they received intimation of the course sition having been objected to, a second adopled by the British Government, bad, proposal was made, again offering an in fact, proceeded to the extreme mea- Armistice, provided the British Governsure of declaring war, and issuing " Let- ment would secretly stipulate to renounce ters of Marque," notwithstanding they the exercise of this right in a Treaty of were previously in possession of the re- Peace. An immediate and formal aban.
donment of its exercise, as preliminary support of her maritime power. - If to a cessation of hostilities, was not de- America, by, denjanding this preliminary manded; but his Royal Highness the concession, intends to deny the validity Prince Regent was required, in the name of that right, in that denial Great Britain and on the behalf of bis Majesty, secretly cannot acquiesce; nor will she give to abandon what the former overture had countenance to such a pretension, by acproposed to him publicly to concede. ceding to its suspension, much less to its This
most offensive proposition abandonment, as a basis on which to also rejected, being accompanied as treat. If the American Government has the former had been, by other de- devised, or conceives it can devise, regu. mands of the most exceptionable na. lations, which may safely be accepted by ture, and especially of indemnity for all Great Britain, as a substitute for the exAmerican vessels detained and condemn- ercise of the right in question, it is for ed under the Orders in Council, or under them to bring forward such a plan for. what were termed illegal blockades a consideration. The British Government compliance with which demands, exclu- has never attempted to exclude this ques sive of all other objections, would have tion from amongst those on which the two amounted to an absolute surrender of the States might have to negociate: it bas, or rights on which those Orders and blockades the contrary, uniformly professed its were founded.--Had the Ainerican Go. readiness to receive and discuss any pro. vernment been sincere in representing the position on this subject, coming from the Orders in Council, as the only subject of American Government: it has never as. difference between Great Britain and the serted any exclusive right, as to the imUnited States calculated to lead to hosti- pressment of British seamen from Ame. lities, it might have been expected, so rican vessels, which it was not prepared son as the revocation of those Orders had to acknowledge, as appertaining equally been officially made known to them, that to the Government of the United States, they would have spontaneously recalled with respect to American seamen wben their “ letiers of marque," and mani- found on board British merchant ships ; fested a disposition immediately to restore but it cannot, by acceding to such a basis the relations of peace and amity between in the first instance, either assume, or the two Powers. But the conduct of the admit that to be practicable, which, whea Government of the United States by no attempted on former occasions, has always means corresponded with such reasonable been found to be attended with great difexpectations.-The Order in Council of ficulties; such difficulties, as the British the 23d of June being officially commu- Commissioners in 1806 expressly deelarnicated in America, the Government of ed, after an attentive consideration of the the United States saw nothing in the re- suggestions brolight forward by the Compeal of the Orders in Council, which missioners on the part of America, they sbould of itself restore peace, unless were unable to surmount. Whilst this Great Britain were prepared, in the first proposition, transinitted through the Briinstance, substantially to relinquish the tish Admiral, was pending in America, right of impressing her own seamen,
another communication on the subject of wben found on board American merchant an armistice was unofficially made to the ships.—The proposal of an armistice, and British Government in this country. The of a simultaneous repeal of the restrictive agent, from whom this proposition was measures on both sides, subsequently received, acknowledged that he did not made by the Coinmanding officer of his consider, that he had any authority himMajesty's naval forces on the American self to sign an agreement on the part of coast, were received in the same hostile his Government. It was obvious, that spirit by the Gavernınent of the United any stipulations entered into, in conse. States. The suspension of the practice quence of this overtuie, would bave been of impressment was insisted upon, in the binding on the British Government, whilst correspondence which passed on that the Government of the United States occasion, as a necessary preliminary to would have been free to refuse or accept a cessation of hostilities : negociation, it them, according to the circumstances of was stated, might take place without any the moment. T'nis proposition was, there. suspeusion of the exercise of this right, fore, necessarily declined.--After this ex. and also without any armistice being con- position of the circumstances which precluded; but Great Britain was required ceded, and which have followed the decla. previously to agree, without any know- ration of war by the United States, his Royal ledge of the adequacy of the system Highness the Prince Regent, acting in the wbich could be substituted, to negociate name and on the behalf of His Majesty, upon the basis of accepting the legislative feels himself called upon to declare the regulations of a foreign Staie, as the sole leading principles by which the conduct equivalent for the exercise of a right, of Great Britain has been regulated in wbich she has felt to be esscntial to the the transactions connected with these dis.
cussions.---His Royal Highuess can never United States, the system, by which a acknowledge any blockade whatsoever to commercial intercourse with the Enemy be illegal, which has been duly notified, had been allowed under the protection of and is supported by an adequate force, licenses ; provided the United States merely upon the ground of its extent, or would act towards her, and towards because the ports or coasts blockaded are France, with real impartiality. - The not at the same time invested by land:-- Government of America, if the differHis Royal Highness can never admit, that ences between States are not interminable, neutral trade with Great Britain can be has as little right to notice the affair of constituted a public crime, the com- the Chesapeake. The aggression, in this mission of which can expose the ships of instance, on the part of a British officer any Power whatever to be denationalized.
was acknowledged, bis. conduct was dis. -His Royal Highness can never admit, approved, and a reparation was regularly that Great Britain can be debarred of its tendered by Mr. Foster on the part
of his right of just and necessary retaliation, Majesty, and accepted by the Governthrough the fear of eventually affecting ment of ihe United States.--It is not less the interest of a neutral.His Royal unwarranted in its allusion to the mission Highness can never admit, that in the of Mr. Henry; a mission undertaken exercise of the undoubted and hitherto without the authority, or even knowledge undisputed right of searching neutral of his Majesty's Government, and which merchant vessels in time of war, the im- Mr. Foster as authorized formally and pressment of British seamen, when found officially to disavow. The charge of extherein, can be deemed any violation of a citing the Indians to offensive measures Deutral fag. Neither can he admit, that against the United States is equally void the taking such seamen from on board of foundation. Before the war began, a i such vessels, can be considered by any policy the most opposite had been unineutral State as a hostile measure, or a formly pursued, and proof of this was justifiable cause of war. --There is no tendered by Mr. Foster to the American right more clearly established, than the Government. — Snch are the causes of right which a Sovereign has to the alle. war which have been put forward by the giance of his subjects, more especially in Government of the United States. But time of war. Their allegiance is no op- the real origin of the present contest will tional duty, which they can decline, and be found in that spirit, which has long resume at pleasure. It is a call which unhappily actuated the Councils of the they are bound to obey: it began with United States: their marked partiality in their birth, and can only terminate with palliating and assisting the aggressive their existence. If a similarity of lan- tyravvy of France; their systematic enguage and manners may make the exer- deavours to inflame their people against eise of this right more liable to partial the defensive measures of Great Britain ; mistakes, and occasional abuse, when Their ungenerons conduct towards Spain, practised towards vessels of the United the intimate ally of Great Britain ; States, the same circumstances make it and their unworthy desertion of the cause also a right, with the exercise of which, of other neutral nations. It is through in regard tú such vessels, it is more diffi- the prevalence of such councils, that cult to dispense.--But if, to the practice America has been associated in policy of the United States, to harbour British with France, and committed in war seamen, be added their assumed right, to against Great Britain.-And under what transfer the allegiance of British subjects, conduct on the part of France has the and thus to cancel the jurisdiction of their Government of the United States thus legitimate Sovereign, by acts of naturali- lent itself to the Enemy? The contempzation and certificates of citizenship, tuous violation of the Commercial Treaty which they pretend to be as valid out of of the year 1800 between France and the their own territory as within it, it is ob- United States ; the treacherous seizure vious that to abandou this antient right of of all American vessels and cargoes in Great Britain, and to admit these nove every harbour subject to the controul of pretensions of the Unitei States, would the French arms; the tyrannical prinbe to expose to danger the very founda- ciples of the Berlin and Milan Decrees, tion of our maritime strength.-- Without and the confiscations under them; the entering minutely into the other topics subsequent condemnations under the which have been brought forward by the Rambouillet Decree, antedated or conGovernment of the United States, it may cealed to render it the more effectual; be proper to remark, that whatever the the French commercial regulations which Declaration of the United States may have render the traffick of the United States asserted, Great Britain never did demand, with France almost illusory; the burning that they should force British manu- of their merchant ships at sea, long after factures into France; and she formally the alleged repeal of the French Decrees declared her willingness entirely to -all these acts forego, or modily, in concert with the of France.